Where Da Spirit At?

Evie Gingras and Brynn Sullivan

 South Hadley high schools school spirit is at an all time low, with half of the current South Hadley High School student body hasn’t attended a single pep rally, school dance, art night, or almost any school event due to covid-19. These events are an essential part of students’ high school experience and not only encourage students to take pride in their school, but can be educational and fun at the same time. 

After interviewing students of all grades, most of them said the same thing: there’s nothing to look forward to in this school. The same classes everyday with not a single event or spirit week for months. Education is important, but valuing and rewarding the hard work of students is just as important. Understanding covid restrictions it can be difficult to hold these events, but spring is 

just around the corner. Instead of holding school events inside, the turf field is a perfect substitute. “I think [students] have had a year and a half off of just no real way of connecting with our school. I think we’re getting to where we left off before covid but we’re not where we used to be in March 2021… but having all of those activities that we’ve missed is really having an impact so hopefully we can get back to doing it safely again, everyone together in the gym or if we did it outside on the turf. I think that’s something I would encourage our school to do again,” said Athletic Director Eric Custonaguay. 

Although nearly everyone’s on board for more school spirit revitalizing events, some teachers expressed concerns that not all students enjoy and participate in these events equally. 

Boys lacrosse coach and science teacher Matt Benoit said: “I’m an academic teacher before I’m a coach, so students are students before they are athletes. Sometimes with those events it takes away from time on learning and although it builds camaraderie often the people who are involved get too involved and everyone else gets lost. It’s still an academic institution and education comes above all.”

Pep rallies and other class sporting events aren’t the only option to rekindle our school’s school spirit. Events commemorating student work like art displays, science projects, culinary creations, instrumental talents, and other extracurricular activities are a great way for students of all interests to connect with each other and our school. All school event attendance should be made optional so that students who need to focus on their work have the opportunity to. Having more frequent spirit weeks is also a great way for students to have fun at school without any class time being interrupted. 

With more school spirit comes pride and unification, creating a more positive environment for everyone in the building. Students should be encouraged to support their peers in all extracurriculars and school activities. The benefits of giving students the opportunity to have fun while being in an educational environment are undeniable. Improving school spirit may also help decrease vandalism, bullying, and other forms of disrespect as students who take pride in their school are less likely to diminish it and their peers.